A backpack is such an important part of going to school, but did you know it could also have an effect on their posture? Children rely on their backpacks for carrying everything they need for the day, including their books, writing supplies, equipment for their extra-curricular activities, and even sometimes jackets and coats.
To help with everything students need to carry, companies have been adding extra pockets to hold more things too. Many students use every inch of pocket-space they can and that adds up to a lot of weight that they carry around throughout the day.
Here’s Our Guide to Wearing School Bags Correctly
Make sure your child’s bag is an appropriate style
Backpacks that are worn over both shoulders help to distribute the weight they’re carrying evenly through the muscles and spine. When a bag is worn over one shoulder, like a satchel or handbag this will cause certain muscle groups to work harder than others. Over time, this may lead to overdevelopment of some muscles on one side of the body relative to the other side.
Make sure your child’s bag is the right size
Sometimes if a bag is oversized, it may lead to an increased muscular strain when carrying their bag. This is why it’s so important to make sure they are wearing it correctly and at the right height too.
Adjust the straps
Be sure to adjust the straps so your child is wearing their bag at the right height for them and that the shoulder straps aren’t rubbing. The backpack should be sitting high on their back and the bottom of the bag should be at waist level. If they have a waist or chest strap, please encourage them to use this to help reduce swaying of the bag.
Pack as light as you can
If your child is carrying lots of heavy books, their lunch, and a drink, the weight soon adds up. Your child’s backpack should never weigh more than 20% of their total body weight. If the bag is too low or if it’s too heavy your child may have to lean further forwards and it may place more strain on their neck and shoulders which won’t help to reinforce good posture in the classroom and may lead to muscle or joint pain in some individuals.
Only pack the necessary exercise books for the classes they have that day and if they have somewhere safe they can store them at school, get them to leave them there and only bring home the necessary exercise books they need for doing their homework or coursework. Make sure they only take the right PE kit on the right PE days to save them carrying extra football boots or trainers.
Organise the backpack sensibly
Try to place the heaviest items closest to the back of their bag so that the heaviest objects are closest to their center of gravity and try to utilize the other pockets where you can.
Ensuring your child’s back and backpack are packed correctly is really important to aid in developing good postural habits for the future.